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P&Z approves Hyde Park Commons; revises rejected truancy ordinance

April 21st, 2011 Posted in Opinion

By Jamee Dyches

HYDE PARK — A new car wash and strip mall are slated to be built on Hyde Park Lane. The Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve Hyde Park Commons, a proposed commercial development along Hyde Park Lane. The car wash will be the first phase in the development. Following that, three areas will be built that can be used as retail spaces or professional offices.

Before voting, a public hearing was held for the proposed commercial development. Arthur Taylor, a Hyde Park resident who lives near the development area, said, “I really like this plan and I hope we go forward with it. I think it’s a gateway that will bring in sales tax revenue to the city.”

“The city is looking at this as a puzzle piece that will make a commercial gateway to Hyde Park,” Commissioner Reed Elder added.

A public hearing for the proposed subdivision of the Farley lot near 600 South was also held at Wednesday night’s meeting. Residents of the area expressed concern about water overflow in their neighborhood, and how the new home would affect it.

Brad Robinson, who lives directly east of the Farley subdivision, said, “The water I’m pumping out to protect my basement comes from the whole road.” The current plans show that the new subdivision will only add a half road to the area. “Where’s the water supposed to go, and are we putting in a road? Because the half road won’t take care of it,” Robinson said.

Elder said that it would be the responsibility of the developer. “You know you’re not unique, we have a lot of flooding happening in all the cities,” Elder said, “It’s just a very unusual year for seepage.”

At its April 13 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to send a proposed truancy ordinance back to the commission for refining and re-wording. The commission revised the ordinance based on Councilman Charles Wheeler’s suggestion that students should be assumed innocent until proven truant, rather than assumed truant until proven innocent.

Commissioner Mark Lynne moved to continue discussion and review of the ordinance after the changes had been made. Commissioner Mike Balls seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

“The reality is, every effort we take to curb poor behavior is worth it,” Commission Chairman Bret Randall said. “Our other option is to house them when they turn 18.”


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